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Gleichenia microphylla.jpg
Gleichenia microphylla, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Division: Polypodiophyta
Class: Polypodiopsida
Order: Gleicheniales
Family: Gleicheniaceae
Genus: Gleichenia
Type species
Gleichenia polypodioides
(L.) Smith

See text

  • Calymella K.B.Presl 1836
  • Gleicheniastrum K.B.Presl 1847

Gleichenia is a genus of ferns.[2] Its closest relative is the genus Stromatopteris,[3] restricted to New Caledonia.


These ferns have creeping rhizomes. The compound eaves fork multiple times, with the final leaf lobes ending in a pinnate arrangement. The sori are found at the bottom of the leaves and are made of a few sporangia. They are not covered by an indusium (protective covering).[4] The sori occur in a unique chamber in the laminar pits - a feature found only in this genus.[5]

Fossil record[edit]

Gleichenia dicarpa leaves
Gleichenia dicarpa leaves

The fossil record indicates that this genus had emerged by the late Jurassic period, although it was far more common in the early Cretaceous period.[6] There is some evidence that it may have emerged even earlier - in the upper Triassic period.[7] There are, however, multiple genera in the fossil record that show a similar leaf branching pattern to Gleichenia, which can make it difficult to determine the exact identity of a specimen that does not have adequately preserved fruiting bodies.[8]

Fossils have been found in across a wide geograhic range including:


The following species are recognised as of February 2023:[1][2][11][12]

Phylogeny of Gleichenia[13][14]

Gleichenia polypodioides (L.) Sm.

Gleichenia alpina R.Br.

Gleichenia mendellii (G.Schneid.) S.B.Andrews

Gleichenia microphylla R.Br. (Scrambling coral fern, parasol fern, umbrella fern)

Gleichenia dicarpa R.Br. (Pouched coral fern, tangle fern)

Gleichenia rupestris R.Br.

Gleichenia abscida Rodway

Gleichenia inclusisora Perrie, L.D.Sheph. & Brownsey

Unassigned species:


  1. ^ a b "Gleichenia". Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Retrieved 22 February 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Genus Gleichenia". PlantNET - New South Wales Flora Online. Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney Australia. Retrieved 2009-01-26.
  3. ^ Pryer, K. M., E. Schuettpelz, P. G. Wolf, H. Schneider, A. R. Smith, and R. Cranfill (2004). Phylogeny and Evolution of Ferns (Monilophytes) with a Focus on the Early Leptosporangiate Divergences. American Journal of Botany 91 (10): 1582–98.
  4. ^ Levyns, M.R. (1966). A Guide to the Flora of the Cape Peninsula (2nd Revised ed.). Juta & Company, Limited. OCLC 621340.
  5. ^ a b Cantrill, David J.; Ohlsen, Daniel; McCurry, Matthew R.; Frese, Michael (2023-03-01). "Gleichenia nagalingumiae sp. nov., a remarkably well-preserved fossil species with in situ spores from the Miocene of Australia". Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. 310: 104823. doi:10.1016/j.revpalbo.2022.104823. ISSN 0034-6667.
  6. ^ Bose, M.N.; Kumaran, K.P.N.; Baneiji, J. (1982). "Pachypteris haburensisn. sp. and other plant fossils from the Pariwar Formation". Palaeobotanist. 30 (1): 1–11.
  7. ^ a b Knowlton, Frank Hall (1913). "Description of a new fossil fern of the genus Gleichenia from the Upper Cretaceous of Wyoming" (PDF). Proceedings of the United States National Museum. 45: 555–558.
  8. ^ Vera, Ezequiel I.; Passalia, Mauro G. (2012). "Korallipteris, a new genus for Mesozoic Gleichenia-like fern fronds". Geobios. 45 (4): 421–428. doi:10.1016/j.geobios.2011.09.002.
  9. ^ Jana, Brajendra Nath; King, Sarah C.; Hilton, Jason (2013-09-05). "Revision of the Cretaceous fossil plant-assemblage from Gardeshwar (Gujarat, India): A conifer dominated floral association from an Upper Gondwana sequence on the West Coast of India". Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. 73: 128–138. doi:10.1016/j.jseaes.2013.04.021. ISSN 1367-9120.
  10. ^ Herendeen, Patrick S.; Skog, Judith E. (1998). "Gleichenia chaloneri-a New Fossil Fern from the Lower Cretaceous (Albian) of England". International Journal of Plant Sciences. 159 (5): 870–879. doi:10.1086/297609. ISSN 1058-5893.
  11. ^ "Helechos". Enciclopedia de la Flora Chilena. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  12. ^ Hassler, Michael (2004–2023). "Gleichenia Smith". World Plants: Synonymic Checklist and Distribution of the World Flora. 15.1. Retrieved 2023-03-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: date format (link)
  13. ^ Nitta, Joel H.; Schuettpelz, Eric; Ramírez-Barahona, Santiago; Iwasaki, Wataru; et al. (2022). "An Open and Continuously Updated Fern Tree of Life". Frontiers in Plant Science. 13: 909768. doi:10.3389/fpls.2022.909768. PMC 9449725. PMID 36092417.
  14. ^ "Tree viewer: interactive visualization of FTOL". FTOL v1.4.0 [GenBank release 253]. 2023. Retrieved 8 March 2023.

External links[edit]